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The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's…
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The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood (edition 2016)

by Kevin Powell (Author)

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301647,505 (3.33)None
"In the spirit of Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, this powerful memoir by writer and activist Kevin Powell vividly recounts the horrific poverty of his youth, his struggles to overcome a legacy of anger, violence, and self-hatred, and his journey to be a man and a voice for others. Driven by his single mother's dreams for his survival and success, Kevin Powell became the first in his family to attend a university, where he became a student leader keenly aware of widespread social injustice. But the struggle to define himself and break out of poverty continued into adulthood, with traumatic periods of homelessness and despair. As a young star journalist with Vibe magazine, Powell interviewed luminaries such as Tupac Shakur, writing influential chronicles of the evolution of hip-hop from his eyewitness view. Now, with searing honesty, Powell examines his troubled relationships, his appearance on MTV's first season of The Real World, his battles with alcohol and depression, his two campaigns for Congress, and the uplifting trip to Africa that renewed his sense of personal mission. Finally, Powell embarks on a search for the father he never really knew in a redemptive passage from abandonment to self-discovery. A striking memoir by a child of post-Civil Rights America, The Education of Kevin Powell gives eloquent testimony to the power of the soul to heal"-- "Memoir recounting the author's childhood, struggle to overcome a legacy of anger and violence, and journey to become a voice for others"--… (more)
Member:Convopeace
Title:The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood
Authors:Kevin Powell (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood by Kevin Powell

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I had never heard of Kevin Powell but came across an article or post about the book and saw it was easily available at my library. Great!

It's the story of Kevin Powell from his childhood in poverty, the struggles he faces growing up and into adulthood. Navigating the world, the troubles he got into, trying to find his place.

Honestly, I didn't get it. I had read memoirs like 'The Other Wes Moore' (which is what I thought of while reading this) or 'The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace' which I enjoyed a lot. This is more like Moore's book since it's told in the first person and in some ways the stories are similar. However, I couldn't get behind Powell's story in the sense that I wanted what would happen next.

Powell himself is a good writer and while reading the text I felt like he did an excellent job in putting the reader in his shoes and describing his time growing up, his family, his discovery of books and reading, etc. But I couldn't help but wonder what exactly this was leading to and what the reader was supposed to be getting out of it. Memoirs can be difficult to go through but unlike the other books I mentioned Powell doesn't seem to have that much of an arc. He does go through one, but 'Other' neatly draws its storylines and we know how 'Short' will end. Here it's just a memoir of some guy but I didn't feel compelled by his story.

However, as I wrote he is a good writer, so I thought this should get another star. Maybe it just isn't for me but it would speak to someone else.

I thought it would be a good follow-up to Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow' (even if the two books don't cover the exact same material). Instead this was a big letdown. Going back to the library! I'd recommend a borrow unless you really like or are familiar with him. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
it is Powell’s raw candor about his many hurdles and disappointments that is most captivating. He acknowledges his disillusionment at times with activism, with figures he once admired like Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson, and with politics after two unsuccessful runs for Congress. He talks about devastating bouts with depression. And while he unflinchingly details circumstances that gave him ample reason to be angry, he also notes how that rage often erupted into violent outbursts...
 
a devastating memoir. It’s tangentially about a man’s life, but at its core, this is a book that explores poverty, pain, and the redemptive power of the written word.
 
though at times entertaining and evocative, on the whole,“The Education of Kevin Powell” suffers from confusing its graphically confessional tone with mature consideration of the demands of living a moral life. It is, in fact, surprising how unreflective this memoir is. Bedeviled by the mystique of being the cheeky black punk, Powell’s education is ultimately about that lonely kid forced to sit outside the classroom door.
 
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"In the spirit of Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, this powerful memoir by writer and activist Kevin Powell vividly recounts the horrific poverty of his youth, his struggles to overcome a legacy of anger, violence, and self-hatred, and his journey to be a man and a voice for others. Driven by his single mother's dreams for his survival and success, Kevin Powell became the first in his family to attend a university, where he became a student leader keenly aware of widespread social injustice. But the struggle to define himself and break out of poverty continued into adulthood, with traumatic periods of homelessness and despair. As a young star journalist with Vibe magazine, Powell interviewed luminaries such as Tupac Shakur, writing influential chronicles of the evolution of hip-hop from his eyewitness view. Now, with searing honesty, Powell examines his troubled relationships, his appearance on MTV's first season of The Real World, his battles with alcohol and depression, his two campaigns for Congress, and the uplifting trip to Africa that renewed his sense of personal mission. Finally, Powell embarks on a search for the father he never really knew in a redemptive passage from abandonment to self-discovery. A striking memoir by a child of post-Civil Rights America, The Education of Kevin Powell gives eloquent testimony to the power of the soul to heal"-- "Memoir recounting the author's childhood, struggle to overcome a legacy of anger and violence, and journey to become a voice for others"--

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